CHRIST AS THE CREATOR AND THE ONE IN WHOM ALL THINGS COHERE
Colossians 1:16 tells us that Christ is the Creator of all things. All things in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities, were created in the power of Christ’s person, in the power of what Christ is. All creation bears the characteristics of Christ’s intrinsic power. All these have been created through Him, for Him, and unto Him.
Furthermore, verse 17 tells us that “He is before all things, and all things cohere in Him.” Christ is not only the Creator of all things but also the One in whom all things cohere. He is the cohering center of all things. All things exist together by Christ as the holding center, just as the spokes of a wheel are held together by the hub at their center. Verses 15b to 17 speak of the relationship between Christ and the old creation.
CHRIST AS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, THE BODY, AS THE BEGINNING, AND AS THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD
Verse 18 tells us that Christ is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead. This means that in resurrection Christ has the first place in the new creation, the church. He is the Head of the Body, the beginning, and the Firstborn from the dead, the first to be resurrected from the dead to have the preeminence in the church. This shows us His relationship with the new creation.
God has two great creations in the universe: one is the old creation and the other is the new creation. In the old creation, Christ is the Firstborn of all creation that He might have the first place in the old creation. In the new creation, Christ is the first to be resurrected that He might have the first place in the new creation. Because He has the first place in both the old creation and in the new creation, being the first in all creation, He has the preeminence in all things in the universe. This is because it pleased God to have all the fullness dwell in Him (v. 19).
CHRIST AS THE REDEEMER TO US AND TO ALL THINGS
Colossians 1:20-22 tells us that on the cross Christ accomplished redemption for us and all things. He made peace through the precious blood which He shed on the cross to reconcile us and all things, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens, to God. Not only did we need God’s redemption, but due to the fall of Adam as their head, all things also needed God’s redemption. Through His death and the shedding of His blood once for all, the all-inclusive Christ accomplished the full salvation which we and all things needed. This shows us the relationship of Christ to God’s redemption.
CHRIST AS THE HOPE OF GLORY IN THE BELIEVERS
Verse 27 tells us that Christ has become the hope of glory in us, the believers. Today, Christ within us is our life and everything; He is also our hope for the future. He is within us as life that we may have a hope, which is the redemption of our body for our whole being to enter into His glory (Rom. 8:21, 23; Phil. 3:21). This speaks of the relationship of Christ with His believers.
Then Colossians 2:2 tells us that such a Christ is the mystery of God. This means that, as God’s story and God’s everything, Christ declares God in full. Verse 3 says that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him. The mention of wisdom and knowledge here has its background. According to history, the influence of Gnostic teaching, which included Greek philosophy, had invaded the Gentile churches in Paul’s time. Those who were influenced by such teaching considered themselves as having much wisdom and knowledge. They spoke many things concerning God and Christ that were not according to the truth. Hence, Paul told the Colossian believers that all the treasures of genuine wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. Here, wisdom and knowledge refer to all the “stories” of God. All the stories of God are wisdom and knowledge. All the wisdom and knowledge pertaining to God’s stories are hidden in this Christ who is the mystery of God. This being the case, Colossians 2:6-7 tells us that we who have received Christ Jesus the Lord should walk in Him and be rooted and built up in Him and should not listen to the empty words of philosophy and philosophical doctrines of the Gnostics.
(Five Great Mysteries in the Bible, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)